Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tincturing....

I've been busy tincturing some herbs from my garden lately. Tincturing is when you take flowers, herbs, leaves, seeds and other plant materials and soak them in undenatured alcohol for a long period of time so that you can extract their scent. After storing them in a cool, dark place for a while you remove the leaves, etc. and the alcohol is left nicely scented and with all the therapeutic qualities from the plant material.
At the moment I am tincturing lemongrass leaves, broadleaf thyme and lime leaves from my garden. It will be  another few weeks before I can tell how well they came out. I have been shaking them and changing the leaves every few days as instructed.

At first, I was not happy with the progress of the lemongrass tincture at all - to me it had a very "off" smell, although when I stuck a scent strip in it I could detect the nice smell of lemongrass coming through after the "off" smell wore off. Anya McCoy, president of the Natural Perfumers Guild, said this could possibly be because the alcohol is pulling out certain chemical components from the lemongrass first, so I'll be patient and see how it goes.

The thyme and the lime leaf seem to be coming along quite nicely though.

I also just planted some frangipani and I am looking forward to when they start to bear so that I can tincture their flowers.

2 comments:

scentualsoundtracks said...

I love your blog. Thanks for sharing how to tincture herbs and flowers. Do you plan to make perfumes out of these?

Amanda said...

Hi, thanks for stopping by. Yes, I am working on cologne version of the Lime Tea perfume oil I currently offer, and I plan to use a bit of the lime leaf tincture in that perfume. I'm glad you found the info useful.